November 6, 2011
My inspiration for what I write in Today’s Enlightenment ultimately comes from God, but is communicated to me through a number of channels, including other people. There is one person who is my primary God-given channel of God-given inspiration. That person is Patty Perez, my friend and partner in Ray of Hope Ministries. I wasn’t sure what to write about for this week’s Today’s Enlightenment blog, so I told her I needed some inspiration.
Her suggestion to me was based on a situation that most of us face from time to time. There are certain people you have to relate to on a regular basis. For whatever reason, they just don’t like you and they make life difficult for you. When that happens, you hope that there is something that you or someone else can do to correct this situation. Above all, if you believe in a loving God, as Patty and I do, you hope that God will resolve the problem. But time goes by, and little or nothing changes. Your hope remains unfulfilled, as far as you can see, due to no fault of yours. I’ve had to deal with that. So has Patty. And I’m sure that you or someone you know has been in that situation. So what are you supposed to do about that?
Here’s what Patty suggested to me: “…what comes to mind is that we are to persevere in our Hope even though there will be times we don’t see our Hopes being fulfilled. … sometimes we just need to let things be and they will work themselves out….Have faith that our hopes will come to fruition in God’s timing and in accordance with his will.”
Some of this we have written about before, but what gave me some new insight were the phrases “persevere in our hope” and “sometimes we just need to let things be”. At first I thought that this sounded like it was contradicting the insight mentioned in previous blogs, about discovering how God wants you to participate with him in fulfilling whatever your hope happens to be, assuming that your hope is in accordance with God’s will. The implication is that God is always going to expect you to actively do something. But here Patty seemed to be saying, “don’t do anything. Just let God take care of it.”
My experience has been that most of the time God has responded to my hopes and his will, by calling upon me to actively work with him in fulfilling those hopes. And sooner or later, if I did at least try to work with God, I would begin to see my hopes fulfilled. There have also been times when I didn’t hear anything from God about actively working with him to fulfill my legitimate hopes. In those times, I often kept trying to resolve the problem on my own, without bothering God with it. Usually this was not successful. Now what I’m hearing through Patty’s comments is that sometimes, if we listen, we will understand God to be saying “the only thing I want you to do about this situation right now is to do nothing, just let it be, and leave it all to me. Persevere in believing that I will take care of it, in my time and my way.”
I’m thinking this is part of what Paul is trying to get across to the people of the church in Rome (Romans Chapter 12). I believe his message is that when we are faced with difficult people, just keep on loving them, using all the grace that God gives you. If they will not accept or respond positively to your love for them, then have faith that God will deal with them in his time and his way. At the same time, there will still be plenty of other ways in which God wants you to be actively working with him to move the world toward fulfillment of the ultimate hope – the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
Please join me in thanking my friend and partner in ministry, Patty, for the inspiration she gave me for this blog. One of my prayers is that there will also and always be a God-inspired person to be an inspiration for your life.
Grace and peace,